Photo: Creative Commons. Back of Madonna single “Into the Groove”.
In 1985, Madonna bought an apartment with Sean Penn at 41 Central Park West, which is on the corner of 64th Street. At the time, I was also living on the Upper West Side, and twice I ran into Madonna in the neighborhood.
The first time was at a Japanese restaurant on Columbus Avenue and 69th Street. I was there with two of my friends, and we had just ordered sushi, which was still a fairly new dining experience at that point. There was a loud noise at the door, and we turned to see who it was. In walked Madonna in one of her trademark short skirts, flat heels and off-the-shoulder ripped tee-shirts. Her hair was dirty blonde, and slightly below shoulder-length. She was laughing and talking with five other women about her own age (she was 27 at the time; one year younger than I was). Madonna and her girlfriends sat at the table right next to us. Of course we knew who she was, but we made sure not to stare. We did, however, glance over from time to time. The restaurant wasn’t very crowded (it was a weeknight) and her group was pretty rowdy. I don’t recall any snippets of what they were talking about; Madonna was just out with her girls, enjoying the night.
The second time I saw Madonna was in 1986 when she was walking up Columbus Avenue with Sean Penn. My sister was visiting me from out of town, so it was great that she got to see two celebrities on her first night there. Madonna and Sean were just strolling up the street, not even wearing sunglasses. My sister wanted to ask for their autographs, but I told her we had to be cool. (Now I wish I’d let her!)
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Leslie Wells has edited forty-nine New York Times bestsellers in her thirty-year publishing career. She is the author of Come Dancing, a contemporary romance set in New York City in the 1980s. Visit her at www.lesliewellsbooks.com
Link to Creative Commons photo license: https://www.flickr.com/photos/23bit_grrrl/270215092/in/photolist-h4iv6-aKpAZD-4sUEYD-5BHmtf/